Is This For You? - Broadcast
First, three points:
1) Music directors using any of the other top schedulers average between sixty and ninety minutes editing each day's music log.
--Music 1 users average less than fifteen minutes a day.
2) The Number One complaint music directors have about their music schedulers is inconsistent spins. Some songs in each category seem to always get many more plays than they should, some songs always get many fewer plays than planned.
--Music 1 delivers the same number of spins for every song within each category.
3) The Number Two complaint music directors have about their software goes something like this: The songs in the Gold category are supposed to be scheduled in all the different dayparts, but so many of them seem to only come up on the overnight show and others get scheduled in mid-days over and over and over.
--If you construct a rotation plan for a category in M1 whereby songs will get equal play in each daypart, it will be done; what you plan is what it delivers.
Every other music scheduler follows a design pattern first conceived in the 1970's for the DOS operating system. They have been updated for the Windows GUI, yes, but much of their genetic bloodline can be traced directly back to that antiquated operating system. Music 1 was written for Windows from the first line of code, there is not one DOS chromosome anywhere in it so it is simpler, easier to master and exceptionally efficient.
Now, as you are a master of your present scheduler, perhaps you are not at all interested in learning something new. We can appreciate that. There's enough complication in our busy lives as it is. That scheduler may irritate you and suck up way too many hours of your time each day, but you know how it works and you know what you've got. Most people just stick with the devil they know. And besides, the one they have is "A Big Name" software and it is super-complicated, so it must be worth the time and toil and high price. Right? Right?
But if you are just tired of having to spend a quarter of your work week fixing what your scheduler did wrongly, if you are sick of constantly finding all sorts of song rotation problems even after you devoted all that time trying to avoid them, then Music 1 is a tool that you seriously need to consider.
The Problem with the Original Paradigm
The first music scheduler was introduced in the late 70’s. At that time, the promise was that after the Music Director got it all set up with Categories, Format Clocks and scheduling rules, the computer was going to deliver a near-perfect music log in a few minutes. Then the music director was going to spend a few more minutes “editing the log” (fixing what the software did wrong). It didn’t quite work out as promised.
Four decades later, that scheduling algorithm has been updated and copied many times over. And still most music directors average more than an hour editing each day's playlist. It is not uncommon to find some music directors who spend two hours a day on this tedious task.
Something is odd about that. Software upgrades and enhancements are supposed to to make the tool more efficient for the user.
Music 1 creator Steve Warren says, “In my opinion, the original design is fundamentally flawed. If it wasn’t, then music directors today wouldn’t still be spending the same amount of time editing their schedules as they were in the 1980’s.”
With the exception of Music 1, every other music scheduler is a variation on that first design. In essence, their game-plan is this: The software schedules the entire day's music log. When it comes to slots where all the song choices it has would violate a formatting rule, the software is instructed to do one of two things. 1) It either it leaves the slot unscheduled, or 2) it looks at a rules hierarchy and schedules the "least objectionable" song in the slot and flags it.
When the software has finished its initial run, the music director digs into the playlist for editing. He finds all the unscheduled slots and then searches the library finding songs that will fit each opening. Or, she goes to each 'flagged' slot and decides how to fix it. Another song may be found and placed into the slot, and/or several songs might moved around to adjust the flow and song sequence.
It is the editing that impedes efficiency. Moreover, this system is the reason song rotations are so often inconsistent and unpredictable. Here's why: Let's say your Power Gold category is set for a 2 day-9 hour turnover. You are editing Tuesday's log and find a problem with the Power Gold slot at 1:15pm. When you then search the category for another Power Gold to drop into the slot, every song at the "top" of the category card stack is actually supposed to be scheduled in the overnight show on Wednesday. If you drop one into Mid-day on this Tuesday, that song will then be repeated approximately twelve hours sooner than it naturally should be. Multiply that times many dozens of slots each day and you can see reason song rotation history shows such wild skews.
With any music scheduling software, one thing is certain: There will be slots encountered during each scheduling run where all the song choices at the top of the rotational card stack that would violate one or more of your formatting rules. Some human interaction and editing is always needed to make corrections, adjustments and produce an acceptable playlist. Steve Warren had a much better idea.
The Music 1 Way
M1 is based on the old axiom: It takes less time to make corrections and adjustments AS you are building something than it does to build it quick and then set about fixing the problems.
As M1 is scheduling, when it finds a slot where all the song choices would violate a formatting rule, it does not leave the slot empty. It does not violate a formatting rule to select the "least objectionable" song. Rather, it stops then and there, shows you the problem and you decide then and there how to resolve it.
The point is this: to get the ideal music selection and flow for each day, some human editing will be necessary. It is then a matter of whether you want to make edits after the software has scheduled the entire day (the old way), or make the edits during the scheduling run (the Music 1 way).
Prime Benefits Of The Music 1 Way
Benefit #1 - Time Saving
Typically, radio music directors using other schedulers average over an hour editing each day's playlist. Music 1 users average a quarter-hour a day.
Benefit #2 - Rotational Accuracy
Editing after the scheduling run is inherently problematic and here's why: When the software has scheduled tomorrow’s playlist, all the songs at the top of each category stack would normally be scheduled on the overnight show the day after tomorrow. If you spot a problem while editing tomorrow’s log, then search to find another song to put into the slot, any and every song you find will be outside the normal rotational pattern that you have planned for that category.
For example, you have Category X set for a 9 hour turnover. While editing the Tuesday log, you see a problem in the Category X slot at 11am. You search Category X to find another song to drop into the slot. But since every song in Category X has been already scheduled somewhere else in this Tuesday playlist, the best that can be achieved is a song that is also scheduled within 4 or 5 hours of the 11am slot.
This does not happen when scheduling the Music 1 Way. When it can’t schedule a Category X song at 11am without violating one of your rules, it stops and shows you the problem, the choices it has and the formatting rules preventing each one from scheduling in the slot. You make a decision about which song to drop into the slot. If you choose to over-ride one of the formatting rules or to move some songs around to solve the problem, then most certainly your human choice will be better than a mechanical computer choice.
Benefit #3 - Reliable, Consistent Spin Counts
Since the beginning, the most common complaint music directors have had with their scheduler is this: "Some of the songs in the category get way more spins each month than what I planned for. And other songs in the category don't get scheduled enough."
With Music 1, every song in every category gets the same number of spins as all the others in that category. The only exceptions are songs that are hour-restricted. If you lock a song out of the morning drive hours for example, it will have about 20% fewer spins each week/month than the others in the category, but that's what you want. Outside of morning drive, that song will have exactly the same about of play as all the others. Music 1 simply does not 'over-schedule' some songs and 'under-schedule' others.
Benefit #4 - Costs Less
M1 is more economical than the other top music schedulers.